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GE Arctica Profile won't stay cold

GE Arctica Profile PSC25MSTA fridge freezer fluctuates and then drips from the icemaker.
We set it at 0/37 and it rises to 5/40 then will drop back down. Unit is 3 years old and has worked fine since we purchased new.

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  • michael_mcca Aug 03, 2009

    This info seemed very generic - not specific to my problem.

  • michael_mcca Aug 03, 2009


    Hi Ed,

    Thanks for the information. Yesterday I removed the back lower panel and cleaned everything by using an air compressor (40 PSI) and vacuum to get rid of all the build-up. The unit has been better, but is still fluctuating a bit more than normal. I'll try the dollar bill test next. It is situated in a built-in area of the kitchen with only an inch or two of clearance - I'll pull it out another couple inches to see if that makes a difference. It has worked fine for 3 years in this location. Any insight on what the normal/accepted temperature fluctuation is?

    Do I need to remove any additional panels to better clean the unit?

    Thanks very much for your time and assistance,

    Mike

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Good morning Michael,
The first thing I need to ask is if you have checked the basics.
Have you cleaned the condenser coils in the past three years but especially since the cooling problem started?
Next, is the door seal in good shape. Use a dollar bill and go all the way around the freezer and refrigerator door seals. Place the dollar bill against the the freezer seal, close the door, does the bill pull out easily? If so, the door seal is not sealing properly. Repeat the test on the refrigerator seal. Make sure you go all the way around the doors.
Lastly, is the refrigerator level, front to back and side to side and is the refrigerator in a tightly enclosed area or too close to the wall. The unit needs air space to cool properly.
90% of the time one of these is the cause for a cooling problem in a refrigerator or freezer.
Below is a pic of the condenser coil unit. You can pull the refrigerator out, remove the access panel and clean the condenser coil.
Good luck, let me know so we can continue if this is not successful.
Regards,
GE Arctica Profile won't stay cold - cff520b.gif

Posted on Aug 03, 2009

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Hello. I can help you isolate your problem

A refrigerator or freezer that is cooling, but cooling poorly, may have a problem in one of several areas:

Evaporator coils
Condenser
Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils or a condenser that is clogged with dust, lint, and dirt.

Evaporator coils Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils. You can't see these coils without removing a panel on the inside of your freezer. A sure sign that there is a build-up is the presence of any frost or ice build-up on the inside walls, floor, or ceiling of the freezer. Such a frost build-up usually indicates a problem in the self-defrosting system or damaged door gaskets.

The refrigerator is supposed to self-defrost approximately four times in every 24 hour period. If one of the components in the self-defrosting system fails, the refrigerator continues to try to cool. Eventually, though, so much frost builds up on the evaporator coils that the circulating fan can't draw air over the coils. There may still be a small amount of cooling because the coils are icy, but with no air flow over the coils, cooling in the refrigerator compartment is quite limited.

Here's an inexpensive, though inconvenient, way to determine if the problem is with the self-defrosting system. Remove all of the perishable food from the refrigerator and freezer, turn the thermostat in the refrigerator to Off, and leave the doors open for 24 to 48 hours. (Be sure to have several towels ready in case the melting frost and ice causes the drip pan to overflow). This allows the refrigerator to defrost "manually." When the frost and ice build-up has completely melted away, turn the thermostat back to a normal setting. If the refrigerator then cools properly, it indicates a problem with one of three components in the self-defrosting system:

  • The defrost timer

  • The defrost thermostat (also called the bi-metal switch)

  • The defrost heater

If it still does not cool properly, there may be a problem with the refrigerant level or the compressor. You may need to consult with a qualified appliance repair technician to further diagnose the problem

Condenser Self-defrosting refrigerators all have a set of coils and a cooling fan, usually under the refrigerator, that need to be cleaned regularly. If these coils get coated with dust, dirt or lint, the refrigerator may not cool properly. The coils may appear to be a thin, black, wide radiator-like device behind the lower kick-panel. To clean them, disconnect the refrigerator from the power source, use a refrigerator condenser brush (see the Appliance Accessories section) and your vacuum cleaner to clean the coils of any lint, pet hair, etc. You may not be able to get to all of the condenser from the front, it may be necessary to clean the remainder of the condenser from the rear of the refrigerator.

Posted on Aug 01, 2009

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